Packing for Mars is an exceptionally fun listen; it's fast-paced and well narrated, and all in all, a great book.
It's less about Mars than it is about space travel in general, and the intricacies of day-to-day life aboard a spacecraft, and sheds a lot of light on all the things one never really thinks about when they think of astronauts.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Mary Roach explores everything from sex to bowel movements in her outer space travel guide, “Packing for Mars”. Roach participates in some NASA training to get a first hand experience of what it takes to be a space traveler. She experiences weightlessness in 22 second intervals. She floats like a butterfly while some of her space mates puke breakfast and lunch.
Roach does use humor to explain what space travel takes but looking past the humor one is overwhelmed by the gap between current science and technology and human travel to other planets.
54 yrs, ,memb 12yrs,library -75%nonfic 10% fiction,15% classics. History, all sciences, bio, classics,diverse other interests.
If your just dying to know what astronauts do with their excretions this is the book for you! If your interests go beyond corpses ( her book STIFF) or the potty habits of astronauts (this crap filled book) you might want to use your credits elsewhere. I'm just trying to think of what low brow desperate attempt for sales her next book will be about. Masturbation stories of the rich and famous perhaps. Guilty pleasures if nothing else. Her books are like car accidents, you cant help but look. Question is... are you willing to pay to look.
Mary Roach seems to be able to make the most ordinary stuff sound interesting. Even aerosolized feces in zero-G.
It could be dangerous because the narration is sooooo boring and robotic you may fall asleep. It's too bad because the content of the book is pretty good, but the narration is just horrible and near impossible to withstand for more than a few minutes at a time.
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
The book was pretty much in line with some of the other books authored by Mary Roach. She really can make a technical subject more interesting than expected.
However, this one was very preoccupied with the astronauts bodily functions. So kinda cool, but it became a bit of more of the same after a while for me. It was okay.
I expected to learn a lot, but this book is not really geared for engineering and science types. More discussion about vomit and astronaut toilet activities than I expected or wanted.
A lot of the vomit and 'ejecta' talk.
Should really be called "Gross Astronaut Trivia for Non-Scientists".
Bloke who took to audiobooks in order to beguile long hours on the road travelling to photography gigs across his home state. Now addicted!
I've titled this review in honour of the recommendation that the author makes in a footnote that if you read one astronaut's account of their time in space, you should make it Mike Mullane's.
The footnoted incident itself caused me some degree of embarrassment, as I burst out laughing loudly - and, to passersby, inexplicably - while strolling down my suburban main street listening to the book on my iPod - via discreet in-canal ear-buds - doubtlessly further enhancing my local reputation for eccentricity.
This book is popular science writing at its best. The topic is fascinating, the pacing is excellent, and the whole mixture is leavened with good humour. And unexpectedly broad interest: being the only non-seasick member of an otherwise green-of-gill family, the extensive discussion of motion sickness was both intriguing, and surprisingly relevant to non-cosmonautic life.
There's an unimaginably dazzling array of little things that goes into launching squishy, emotional and erratic humans into space. And big things, of course. This book is an outstanding description of the place where humanity meets technology, at the very edge of the most desolate void we could ever conceive of encountering.
And it's also a great account of the vast teams of researchers and technicians that lie behind the space-jockeys.
A great listen. And dazzling well read.
There were a few interesting tidbits in this book. It is ostensibly a serious book about space travel and going to mars but it felt more like a book written for teenagers. To that point, the author is fascinated with 'poop', 'pee' and sex in space. Clearly these are topics that are important, especially if you are planning a long term trip in outer space, but I was looking for something with a little more substance. I'll categorize it as recreational reading where you gain a few answers to trivial pursuit questions.